The adult life sometimes feels like a role-playing game. A small part of you is wondering when your mom is going to call out “dinner’s ready!” so you can just stop playing and go home. At the dinner table, while listening half-heartedly to your parents talking about their work, you think about how you could have played better today, and how you plan to play tomorrow, or another day.
Where do I see myself in three months, one year, five years, and ten years?
Provided that I’m lucky enough to live that long.
I have never been a fan of making plans.
After my mom died of cancer a while back, I gave up making plans for myself altogether.
Planning things was one of the things she liked to do. Not just for herself, but for every one of us.
Planning was also the reason why she didn’t get to enjoy much of her life.
She just retired at that time. And since we the children already moved out and started our own lives, mom finally got to live her life free from work, and from her household responsibilities.
She wanted to hang out with her friends more. They made plans to travel through the country in the next year.
She wanted me to get married to my then-boyfriend, and have kids. “Sometime in the future I’d love to be a grandma,” she used to say, “I will take care of her/him for you if you need. You know, if you want to focus on your career.”
But planning was also the reason why she suffered a lot when she got the bad news.
Planning means setting up expectations. Expectations for the good stuff: the positive, happy, and ambitious ones. The more you invest in making this plan, the more hurt you get when it doesn’t get to become reality.
A month ago I became a mother myself. I spend many minutes every day thinking about what death means to me now.
Since my mother passed, every day I had to face my own mortality and the unpredictability of everything in life. And now, it didn’t stop. The rational side of my brain asks me more urgently: what would my death mean now? What if there is no tomorrow? What will happen to my little baby?
“Enjoy the present moment.” I tell myself, “Enjoy it now so that if anything happens at any time, you know you’ve had the most out of this purest love that you possibly could.”
But being a new mom means you can’t help but look forward to the future. You can’t stop yourself from imagining what it would be like for you and your baby in a month when she grows bigger and stronger; a year, when she starts to walk; three years, when she’s able to learn and plan with other kids in kindergarten; and six years, when she’s going to school for the first time…
Wait. What if anything happens? What if I don’t get it to see all of these happen…
I don’t want to make any plans for myself to help her go anywhere or be anything in her life. I’m afraid.
I’m afraid of making plans.
I’m afraid of plans fail to realize. I’m afraid that I will fail my own expectation.
But maybe, just maybe.
Can I be a little unafraid? Can I be so bold that I make a little bit of plan for the nearest future without carrying the weight of possible death of myself?
The best I can do is to say, maybe the 6 to 12 months.
I’m up for all the challenges for new mothers. The books say she’s going to go through some very important stages in the first year. So I’m all about recording every little step she takes along her way, from taking photos and videos to writing stuff down.
I want to make a multi-media project recording her first year in this life.
That’s my gift to her.
As for myself, I’m doing this — writing, every day.
This is already what I want to do the most. Being a newborn’s mom in Germany finally gave me the chance to do it.
So even when my writing sucks and nobody reads them, I will keep writing and keep posting, every day.
Till the foreseeable future as I’m still breathing.
Every moment until the end of that future is my moment.
And every moment is crystallized into words, including the ones you are reading right now.
Thank you for being here for my plan.
This post was originally published on https://medium.com/@clearsong